This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
What you should know, what you should do
what is happening to me?
Alzheimer's disease causes gradual, irreversible changes in the brain. These changes usually cause problems with memory, decision making and self care. The disease also affects the ways we communicate — both in expressing our thoughts and in understanding what others are saying. You may be worried or anxious about the changes you've noticed so far. While there is no cure for Alzheimer's, treatments might help you with some of your symptoms. And having information about the disease can help you cope.
We’re here for you, all day, every day Our 24/7 Helpline offers: zC onfidential consultation by master’slevel clinicians. zH elp provided in more than 170 languages and dialects. zR eferrals to community programs and services in your area. alz.org | 800.272.3900
and others may not. z You are not alone — more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's. you'll find help for questions such as: 1 What can I do? page 3 2 Is what I'm feeling normal? page 8 3 How else can I take care of myself? page 12 4 What if I live on my own? page 15 5 What about the future? page 17 2 . z The disease affects each person differently. z There are people who understand what you're going through and can help you and your family. z Some suggestions may work for you. The Alzheimer's Association offers suggestions to make things easier.It's important to know that: z T he changes you are experiencing are because of the disease. z You will have good days and bad days. z Trying different ideas will help you find comfortable ways to cope. and symptoms will vary. Inside.
3 . z G et an easy-to-read. u P eople's names and their relationship to you. houghts or ideas you want to hold T on to. It might be very frustrating trying to remember where you put things. what can i do? Coping with memory loss While you may clearly remember things that happened long ago. Suggestions for coping with memory loss: z K eep a book with you at all times that has: u Important telephone numbers and addresses. people and places. You may forget appointments or people's names. including emergency numbers and your own contact information. digital clock that displays the time and date.1. A to-do list of appointments. You may have trouble keeping track of time. recent events can be quickly forgotten. A map showing where your home is. u u u z L abel cupboards and drawers with words or pictures that describe their contents. and keep it in a prominent place.
z U se an answering machine or voicemail to keep track of telephone messages. z Use pillboxes to help you organize your medication. label the photos with names and who each person is in relation to you. pillboxes with sections for times of day — like morning and evening — can help remind you when you should take your pills. z Keep a set of photos of people you see regularly. appointments and medication. z H ave a dependable friend call to remind you about meal times. include emergency numbers along with your address and a description of where you live. 4 . z Keep track of the date by marking off each day on a calendar. z Post phone numbers in large print next to the telephone.
A favorite place may not look the same. z E xplain to others that you have a memory problem and need assistance. z D on't be afraid to ask for help. a 24-hour nationwide emergency response identification and support program that will reunite you with your family should you ever wander. ® 5 . things that were once familiar may now seem unfamiliar. z E nroll in MedicAlert + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return . ® ® z S ign up for Alzheimer's Association Comfort Zone — a Web-based location management service that ensures you and your family are always connected. Suggestions for finding your way: z T ake someone with you when you go out.Finding your way Sometimes. Or you might even get lost.
6 . Suggestions for doing daily tasks: z G ive yourself a lot of time. certain things may become too difficult for you to do at all. z T ake a break if something is too difficult. z M aintain a daily routine. For example. and accept help when it's available. you may have trouble balancing a checkbook. and don't let others hurry you.Doing daily tasks You may find familiar activities more difficult. following a recipe or doing simple household repairs. This is because of the disease. Over time. Do the best you can. z A rrange for others to help you with difficult tasks. z A sk for help if you need it.
Talking to others You may have difficulty understanding what others are saying. Suggestions for talking to others: z Take your time. z A sk the person to repeat a statement if you did not understand what was said. You may have trouble finding the right words to express your thoughts. z T ell people you have difficulty with thinking. 7 . z C onsider with whom you will share your diagnosis — it's helpful for others to understand your condition. z F ind a quiet place to converse if loud noises or crowds are bothering you. communicating and remembering.
org).You may worry about what's going to happen to you in the future. It is important to share these reactions with others. These feelings are a natural response to the disease.You can also connect with people who relate to your experiences through ALZConnected (alzconnected. Or you may wonder how quickly the disease will progress. is what i'm feeling normal? Living with the changes caused by Alzheimer's disease can bring about many unfamiliar emotions. Tell someone with whom you are comfortable how you feel. an online social networking community powered by the Alzheimer's Association.2. You may find yourself saying: “I worry more than usual. ” It's important to talk to your family and friends about your concerns. The Alzheimer's Association can refer you to a support group where you can meet others who are living with Alzheimer's. 8 .
It’s normal to go through a range of emotions. Telling those around you how you feel may give you comfort. “Sometimes I feel angry. “I sometimes think I'm going crazy. You’re facing many challenges and adjustments. 9 . ” It's normal to experience mood changes. On these days. ” Feeling angry is natural. Sharing your feelings with others who are living with Alzheimer's may also help. Try to do things that will lift your spirits. most people find that doing something they enjoy — like walking or gardening — helps them take their mind off their worries. ” The disease can make you feel as if you are losing control. it is important to remember that tomorrow could be a better day. Sometimes being part of a support group or talking to a counselor who knows about Alzheimer's can help. Your doctor or the Alzheimer's Association can refer you. It's important to find ways to cope with these feelings. “I sometimes get into a bad mood.While there are no definite answers to these questions.
Keeping a sense of humor. can also be very helpful.“I sometimes feel sad. It may help to spend time with friends or family. “When things go wrong. whenever possible. ” Getting lost. But this is a part of the disease. I feel really embarrassed. ” You may feel sadness when faced with the changes that the disease brings to your life. Explain to people that you have memory problems to help ease any awkward feelings. 10 . You might also consider consulting your doctor about medications that may help ease feelings of sadness. forgetting a once-familiar face or not being able to find the right word can feel embarrassing. or to do something you enjoy.
Try to accept the assistance you need. Chances are that others will be pleased to provide it. “I feel guilty asking for help. 11 . It can be comforting to talk to others who are living with Alzheimer's disease. “Sometimes I feel very lonely. Talk to others about why you are feeling this way. ” Not being able to do the things you once did can be frustrating. can do to make things easier. ” Few of us like to ask for help. or those around you.“I get so frustrated. You can also connect with others online through ALZConnected (alzconnected. ” You may think that the people around you do not understand what you're going through. The Alzheimer's Association can refer you to a support group. See if there is anything that you. Over time. We often resist relying on others.org). you will find it necessary to ask for help more often.
z E xercise regularly. z Reduce stress in your daily life. with your doctor's approval. Health Take good care of your body. 12 . how else can i take care of myself? Two of the most important ways to maintain your well-being are to stay healthy and safe.3. z C ut down on alcohol — it can make your symptoms worse. z T ake your medications as prescribed. Suggestions for your health: z Rest when you are tired. z E at properly. and ask for help if it is difficult to remember when they should be taken.
having a companion can help the time pass more pleasantly. difficulties with decision making. z S top driving when it's no longer safe Memory loss can hinder your ability to drive safely.Safety Memory problems. While you may feel you will be fine alone. Suggestions for your safety: z C onsider a companion The person you live with may worry about leaving you alone for long periods of time.You may also become less able to make decisions and react quickly. and communication changes can all create new safety concerns. at some point it will no longer be safe for you to drive. 13 . It can also lessen worry for those close to you. While it is not easy to give up your license.
don't let them in. “turn off the stove” or “unplug the iron. 14 . taxi cabs or public transportation. train or airplane. Instead. wandering and getting lost. tips. z U se smoke detectors Make sure your home has working smoke detectors.org/safety for information. like friends. write down the person's name and telephone number. Later.Look into other ways to get around. which could save your life in a fire. and driving and dementia. and resources to assist you with safety inside and outside of the home. Put a reminder in your calendar to change the batteries. Some wander hundreds of miles away from home.” Be sure you have an automatic shut-off feature on the appliances you use most often — especially the ones that can cause harm if left unattended. Just as people can wander while walking. Visit alz. they can also become lost when driving or taking a bus. z B e careful of people you don't recognize If someone you don't recognize comes to your door. family. you or a family member can call the person. z B e mindful of electrical appliances Leave written reminders to yourself like.
z L eave a set of house keys with a neighbor you trust. z H ave a family member regularly sort your closet and dresser drawers to make it easier for you to get dressed. z P lan for home-delivered meals.4. they may provide special services for people with Alzheimer's. such as your retirement pension or Social Security benefits. z A rrange for direct deposit of checks. Making simple adjustments. meals and transportation. 15 . Suggestions for living on your own: et advice from the Alzheimer's z G Association or your doctor about where to get help for things like housekeeping. z I nform your bank if you have difficulty with record-keeping and keeping track of your accounts. taking safety precautions and having the support of others can make things easier. if available in your community. what if i live on my own? Many people with Alzheimer's continue to live successfully on their own during the early stages of the disease.
Make plans now for where you will live as the disease progresses. living alone will become too difficult or dangerous. live with relatives or move to a residential care setting. At some point.z S chedule family. You may want to get a helpful roommate. keep a list of things to discuss. 16 . friends or a community service to make a daily call or visit.
z I f you own your own business.5. Suggestions for future plans: Make arrangements at work alk to your employer about z T Alzheimer's. Consider future living arrangements z T alk to your family or friends about where you want to live. what about the future? Alzheimer's disease is a progressive illness. and the symptoms you're experiencing will gradually worsen. 17 . Take someone with you to help explain and clarify your symptoms and particular situation. to prepare for the time when you will need more care. z C onsider all of the options available. if possible.You will need more help. and with whom. put plans in place for its future operations. z C ut down on your hours or responsibilities. including adult day programs. in-home care and hospice services. There is no way to predict how or when this will happen. It's a good idea for you to make decisions about your future as early in the course of the disease as possible.
z Find out about any available options for long-term care insurance. z Take someone with you to the lawyer to help explain your situation and to help interpret what the lawyer says. z See a lawyer about naming a person to legally take care of your money matters when you can no longer do it. your child or a close friend. like your spouse or domestic partner. It also helps those close to you make the right decisions for you in the future.org) online assessment program can help you create a customized action plan to proactively face this disease. 18 . Map out your plan to approach Alzheimer’s The new Alzheimer’s Association Alzheimer’s Navigator™ (alzheimersnavigator.Settle your money and legal matters z Consider naming a person to make health care decisions for you when you are unable to do so.org). Planning ahead ensures that your future will be in good hands. Implementing your action plan is easy with help from local resources located one click away via the Alzheimer’s Association Community Resource Finder (communityresourcefinder. This person should know your wishes about your health care and future living arrangements. z Make sure your money matters are in the hands of someone you trust.
10 Put future plans in place now. Such distribution does not constitute an endorsement of these parties or their activities by the Alzheimer's Association.org © 2012 Alzheimer's Association. support and research. Maintain your physical health. Association Safe Return®. Keep doing the things you most enjoy.04 770-10-0002 . This is an official publication of the Alzheimer's Association but may be distributed by unaffiliated organizations and individuals.3900 alz. All rights reserved. contact the Alzheimer's Association: 800. Find ways to laugh as often as you can. to provide and enhance care and support for all affected. Talk to others who have Alzheimer's. The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research. and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. and Alzheimer's Association Comfort Zone® .10 quick tips living with alzheimer's 1 C arry with you a book of important notes ® 2 Enroll in Medic Alert + Alzheimer's and photos. 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Accept help from others. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's . 081312. For information and support.272. friends and community. Extend the time you can live safely in your home with help from your family. Take steps to make your home safe.